SSD + HDD in MacBook Pro 5,1: Some Observations

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by darwinian, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. darwinian macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2008
    In R4, more or less
    Hi All:

    I wanted to share my experiences briefly from removing my optical drive and replacing it with an SSD + HDD combination in my MBP 5,1. I've had this arrangement for over a year now. I'll call the original HDD bay Bay0 and the optical bay Bay1.

    Some details:
    --I am using the MCE Tech caddy (in Bay1)
    --HDD: WDC WD3200BEKT-22F3T0 on which the user "partition" is kept
    --SSD: INTEL SSDSA2M080G2GC on which the system partition is kept

    Originally I decided to put the WD drive in Bay1 and the SSD in Bay0. However, I kept noticing a very bad clicking sound from the HDD no matter what my energy saver conditions regarding HD spin down in OS X were. My thought, unsubstantiated, was that power delivered to Bay1 was somehow delivered differently than Bay0. The clicking sound really made me think that my optical drive was being damaged. Has anyone else noticed this?

    I've since moved my SSD into Bay1 and the HDD into Bay0. I had zero problems booting up after this. The clicking is gone, but I cannot help but wonder if somehow my SSD is being damaged by whatever was making my HDD click while in Bay1.

    Finally, after several unsuccessful attempts at installing any Linux distro in a dual boot config on my HDD in Bay0 (which had more space), I decided to try to install it on the SSD in Bay1, which is the OS X startup disk. That worked perfectly, suggesting to me that something in the refit+grub chain really liked the startup partitions to be on the same disk.

    But again two questions remain:
    --Does anyone have an explanation as to why the HDD would have been clicking in Bay1?
    --Could the SSD in Bay1 be damaged by whatever was making the HDD click?
  2. nate.the.great macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2012
    I have the original stock Apple 5400rpm 750GB (Hitachi?) drive in bay 1 and a corsair force 3 ssd in bay 0.

    I notice no clicking in bay 0. I can't imagine where a clicking sound would come from. Maybe the MCE adapter wasn't completely screwed down? Some of those T6 screws are challenging to get to. did you use the two screws to bolt the hard drive to the adapter?

    What's odd is that I could not boot my PC with my SSD in bay 1. I even held down option, but there was no option to boot when my SSD was in bay 1. as soon as i moved my SSD to bay 0, everything was fine.
  3. tortex macrumors member

    May 21, 2009

    I head about this today, I have a last non-Thunderbolt model MBP. I have the stock 320GB HDD, and I was thinking about sticking a 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD in. I don't plan to dual boot, I just need the storage (software developer, I use a fair amount).

    Was it simple enough to do? I've swapped out the HDD in my iMac which involved taking it to pieces, so I'm confident enough. Does it boot as normal?

    Any advice on what caddy to use? I'm in the UK.

  4. nate.the.great macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2012
    it's not a big deal, just a bunch of screws. there's really nothing tricky involved.

    i used the MCE kit, but it wasn't as solid as it looked. also, with the MCE kit, a piece of hardware needs to be reused, and the use self-tapping screws to install it. the annoying thing about optibay kits is that the entire setup needs to be removed when you swap drives. i think the leading kits are MCE and OWC's data doubler.

    the MCE kit is more expensive, but it comes with a plastic enclosure for the drive you remove. the enclosure is option with the data doubler.
  5. tortex macrumors member

    May 21, 2009
    Sweet, think I'm going to order the parts tonight as soon as I confirm it works with my model. 128gig SSD from Crucial, the M4 model to go with it. Does it make that much of a different for boot and app loading times?

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